Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish – Daughter
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Harvard lawyer granddaughter has spoken for the first time about how she dictated the Supreme Court Justice’s dying wish on her computer after President Donald Trump suggested it had been made up by the Democrats.
Clara Spera opened up in an interview with BBC’s Newshour on Monday about the circumstances surrounding Ginsburg’s final wish that she shouldn’t be replaced until after a ‘new president is installed’.
Spera’s comments were made around the same time Trump cast doubt on Ginsburg’s final wish by alleging that it could have been written by a Democrat.
‘In the final days of her life, I asked my grandmother if there was anything she wanted to say to the public, to anyone, that wasn’t already out there,’ said Spera, who called her Bubbie, the Yiddish word for grandmother.
‘I pulled out my computer and she dictated the following sentence to me. She said: ‘My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed’.
‘I read it back to it and she was very happy with it. When I asked ‘is that it, is there anything else you’d like to say?’. She said ‘the rest of my work is a matter of public record’. So that’s all she wanted to add.’ Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Harvard lawyer granddaughter Clara Spera (above) opened up on Monday for the first time about the circumstances surrounding Ginsburg’s dying wish that she not be replaced until after a ‘new president is installed’
It marks the first time Spera has publicly spoken about Ginsburg’s comments, which initially only came to light after being quoted in an obituary written by one of Ginsburg’s friends, National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg.
Since the obituary came to light, Democrats have used Ginsburg’s words and Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s actions in 2016 – when he held back President Barack Obama’s nominee until the election was decided – as an argument to let the winner of November’s contest nominate Ginsburg’s replacement.
Trump on Monday accused his political foes – Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi or House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff – of being behind Ginsburg’s last request.
‘I don’t know that she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff, Schumer and Pelosi,’ Trump told Fox News’ Fox & Friends.
Clara is one of Ginsburg’s four grandchildren. Like her grandmother, Clara’s parents are also both lawyers. Pictured above with Ginsburg (from left to right) is her son-in-law George Spera, daughter Jane Ginsburg, husband Martin and son James Ginsburg. Clara and her brother Paul are pictured at the front
Spera followed in the footsteps of her grandmother in becoming a lawyer. Her parents, Jane Ginsburg and George Spera, are also lawyers.
In the BBC interview, the Harvard Law graduate spoke of how she gained a new appreciation for her grandmother when she attended law school.
‘She was the person I turned to again and again long before I went to law school because before being a role model or a legal star she was my grandmother,’ she said.
‘That said it was only when I got to law school that I recognized the real impact of the work that she had done. No matter what law school one attends in the United States, you will read her opinion, you will read her dissents.
‘I gained a new appreciation for her as a lawyer when I was in law school. I will admit if I ever had questions… I was incredibly privileged she was just an email away.’
Spera studied arts at the University of Chicago and philosophy at Cambridge University in the UK before graduating from Harvard Law in 2017.
She worked as a legal intern for Hillary for America ahead of the 2016 election and as a law clerk in the US Court of Appeals.
Spera is currently an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union in New York where she is involved in a project to expand access to reproductive care for lower income women, according to her LinkedIn page.
Spera followed in the footsteps of her grandmother in becoming a lawyer. In the interview, the Harvard Law graduate spoke of how she gained a new appreciation for her grandmother when she attended law school
She married her actor husband Rory Boyd in 2018 after the pair met studying at Cambridge University.
Spera, whose brother Paul is also an actor, is one of Ginsburg’s four grandchildren. Ginsburg also has two step-grandchildren.
In a 2018 op-ed with Glamour after she was sworn in as a lawyer in New York, Spera revealed that she called her grandmother Bubbie – a Yiddish word fro grandmother.
She said no one had ‘guided and inspired me more than my grandmother’.
‘You may know her as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or affectionately as the Notorious RBG, but to me she’s Bubbie. Bubbie with whom I spend most High Holy Days. Bubbie who took me to see The Book of Mormon, where we both laughed until we cried. Bubbie who loves going to the movies. Bubbie at whom I get a kick out of poking fun. Just a Bubbie like any other,’ Spera wrote.
She also detailed having her third birthday party at the Supreme Court.
‘One of my earliest memories is from when I celebrated my third birthday at the Supreme Court, just two short months after Bubbie took her oath,’ she said.
‘I realize now that my birthday party wasn’t held there to show off or because the Court’s such an impressive space; it was because she wanted me to know, from the age of three, that my grandmother, my Bubbie, worked there, and that I shouldn’t consider anything out of my reach.’